Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen
connecting people

Come out of your niche! And become more political!

Interview with Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen on the occasion of the keynote speech at the opening of BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2019.

The doctor, comedian and author Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen opened the 2019 BIOFACH and VIVANESS trade fair duo with his keynote speech in front of 800 enthusiastic guests. In doing so, he addressed precisely the topics that move the industry: ecology, sustainability, climate protection and health in a holistic sense. Humorous and with a twinkle in his eye as well as serious and committed. In general, Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen combines the topics of health and humor - not least with his foundation "HUMOR HELPS HEAL". Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen gave an interview to the NürnbergMesse magazine in the context of BIOFACH.

Mr von Hirschhausen, what makes someone like you, who makes others laugh with his humour, laugh yourself?

I'm a very big Loriot fan; I was even able to meet my great role model in person. And I like funny poems and songs, from Morgenstern, Ringelnatz and Tucholsky to Gernhardt, Sebastian Krämer and Bodo Wartke. But what I can't beat is the humour of children. For the CD "Is this a joke? Does a child go to the doctor?" we collected not only jokes but also sayings that children just bang out, from neologisms to deep insight, like the sentence of a 6-year-old that I think is just great: "You can never lose anything again if you know where ANYWHERE is."

Health: The challenge to have joy of life with our body as it is

And what does "healthy" mean for you personally?

For me, health is not the absence of illness, but the challenge to enjoy life with our body as it is. In this sense, I would like to contribute to ensuring that all people have the chance to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. It is already a fact that socially disadvantaged people in Germany live 10 years shorter. That is why I am committed to health literacy, both in front of and behind the scenes. We could teach everyone the most important rules for our bodies as early as kindergarten and school: Don't smoke, exercise, eat vegetables, grow up and stay a kid. That accounts for 15 years of life expectancy. How to implement this in everyday life is something I try to convey through various channels: Lectures, television, books, stage shows, my own magazine "Hirschhausen Gesund Leben" and now in dialogue with you!

Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen

Eckart von Hirschhausen as keynote speaker at BIOFACH and VIVANESS 2019

The organic industry takes a broad view of health and says that the "organic system" is "healthy" in its holistic nature. From cultivation to farming practices to eating styles...How do you see it?

We eat way too much meat. It's not good for us. Nor is it good for the creatures that happen to be below us in the food chain. And most importantly, we never see in the supermarket what we do by producing it. Suppose we had to compulsorily buy the 10 litres of slurry associated with every kilo of meat we buy, and take care of its disposal ourselves. We would automatically know: We don't need meat every day.

Humor helps heal!

Humor and health - a perfect pair that absolutely belongs together?

Absolutely. You get much further with humorous knowledge transfer than with threats. A good example is smoking. There isn't a smoker who doesn't know that it's not particularly healthy. But that obviously doesn't stop them from doing it anyway. Studies show that the more you talk about the dangers of smoking, the more attractive it is to young people. Why is that? A teenager wants to prove his strength. If you tell him there's something really dangerous, then he can prove that he doesn't mind. It's a kind of test of courage. It is better to tell the young people that the cigarette industry already tried 50 years ago to get young people addicted with certain ingredients. Then you grab the young people by their honour, who don't want to be manipulated and proudly reject cigarettes with the sentence: "I won't be fooled.

With your foundation HUMOR HILFT HEILEN you want to "strengthen the humane in human medicine and care". What is your most important concern and with which projects do you promote these concerns?

We span a wide range from music therapy for premature babies to humour visits on palliative wards and nursing homes. We support everything that is good for the soul and that is not paid for by the insurance company. A major focus is now on research projects and workshops for nursing staff. This central group in the health service is under enormous pressure. That is why, on a large scale, we are campaigning for different political framework conditions at the German Nursing Day, and on a small scale we are taking our trainers into nursing schools so that the topics of "resilience, mindfulness and self-care" can be experienced in practice right from the start. The whole thing is also being accompanied scientifically, so that the contents of positive psychology will hopefully soon become part of regular training.

Message to the organic industry: Get out of your niche!

You opened the two trade fairs BIOFACH and VIVANESS with your key-note on 13 February 2019 and inspired the 800 or so guests! Is there a core message, what message do you have for the organic movement?

Come out of your niche! And become more political! It's not enough to supply a small "conscious" elite with flown-in organic mangoes, that's not the solution, it's part of the problem. Any local apple is better. If we want to feed 10 billion people in dignity on this planet soon, without all of us banging our heads together in the fight for water, arable land and regions with a bearable outside temperature, we need a radical rethink of mobility and agriculture. As long as one third of the food produced is thrown away, and at the same time people are starving, we need other "innovations" than new muesli mixtures with "superfoods".


If we want to feed 10 billion people in dignity on this planet soon, we need a radical rethink of mobility and agriculture.


You have discovered Intermittent Fasting as a dietary method for yourself - finally, two personal nutritional questions: Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen when shopping - how important are factors such as organic, ecology and production conditions of the food you put in the shopping basket to you?

Of course they're important, but at the same time I'm annoyed by the ideological nature of the scene, which can be argued about for a long time: What's healthier, three four-grain rolls or four three-grain rolls.

...and what is your "Feel-Good-Food?" that brings a smile to your face?

You should never leave me alone in a room with a bar of marzipan chocolate, I can't guarantee anything!

Mr. von Hirschhausen, thank you very much for the interview!

Redaktionsmitglied Barbara Böck
Barbara Böck
Online Editorial// Public Relations Manager
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Image credits:

  • Copyright: Camillo Wiz